Land Use and Rights in the Context of Climate Change

In a world seized by climate impacts and adaptation, people with weak land rights, or whose human rights are intrinsically related to land access, will confront even higher risks of rights violations. The challenges around land use, land rights, and climate change are complex. We tackle the issues arising at this intersection when our specific expertise and position can help to advance understanding and improve practice in this area.

We seek to articulate the case for land rights as a critical component of climate mitigation with different climate-focused stakeholders, through evidence-based analysis and awareness-raising strategies. For example, in 2019 we convened a conference on “Climate Crisis, Global Land Use, and Human Rights.” (Read our blog on the interactions between climate, land, and resource investments here.) In 2017, we hosted a consultation for the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights regarding the Committee’s draft General Comment on land, which included an explicit focus on climate change and land.

We conduct targeted research that seeks to fill knowledge gaps at the intersection of land and climate. For example, we are researching the implications of and interplay between home state laws intended to mitigate deforestation in supply chains, and the policy and regulatory frameworks of producer countries. We are also exploring how land-related business practices in the agricultural and food sectors may support or undermine planetary boundaries and critical climate action.

We also integrate climate change considerations into technical support we provide to governments, civil society, and other stakeholders around land investments and land governance.